The Drosophila wing hearts originate from pericardial cells and are essential for wing maturation

Dev Biol. 2008 Jun 1;318(1):29-37. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.02.043. Epub 2008 Mar 5.

Abstract

In addition to the heart proper, insects possess wing hearts in the thorax to ensure regular hemolymph flow through the narrow wings. In Drosophila, the wing hearts consist of two bilateral muscular pumps of unknown origin. Here, we present the first developmental study on these organs and report that the wing hearts originate from eight embryonic progenitor cells arising in two pairs in parasegments 4 and 5. These progenitors represent a so far undescribed subset of the Even-skipped positive pericardial cells (EPC) and are characterized by the early loss of tinman expression in contrast to the continuously Tinman positive classical EPCs. Ectopic expression of Tinman in the wing heart progenitors omits organ formation, indicating a crucial role for Tinman during progenitor specification. The subsequent postembryonic development is a highly dynamic process, which includes proliferation and two relocation events. Adults lacking wing hearts display a severe wing phenotype and are unable to fly. The phenotype is caused by omitted clearance of the epidermal cells from the wings during maturation, which inhibits the formation of a flexible wing blade. This indicates that wing hearts are required for proper wing morphogenesis and functionality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Cell Lineage
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster* / anatomy & histology
  • Drosophila melanogaster* / embryology
  • Drosophila melanogaster* / growth & development
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Heart / anatomy & histology
  • Heart / embryology
  • Heart / growth & development
  • Morphogenesis*
  • Pericardium / cytology
  • Pericardium / embryology
  • Phenotype
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Wings, Animal / anatomy & histology
  • Wings, Animal / embryology
  • Wings, Animal / growth & development

Substances

  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Hand protein, Drosophila
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • tin protein, Drosophila